Automotive-Inspired Toys Ride Hall of Fame Status
Kids are obsessed with all things that go from an early age. Wheels, cars, trucks–anything that goes round and round–are a favorite for most little tots, and the sooner these toys can operate as freedom giving modes of transportation, the better.
And, automotive-inspired toys are not only perennially favorites of kids of all ages, some have even earned Hall of Fame recognition.
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The Strong National Museum of Play®, which showcases the National Toy Hall of Fame®, has deemed the following as award-winning toys that go:
According to the National Toy Hall of Fame, Antonio Pasin, an Italian immigrant, founded the Liberty Coaster Company in 1923, and in 1930 he began mass-producing wagons our of stamped metal.
“Radio Flyer designers added high sides for carting kids in 1950s, borrowed bright colors and slick tires from muscle cars in the 1970s, and even created an all-terrain version, the Quad Shock Wagon—to match the SUVs in the 1990s,” according to the National Toy Hall of Fame records.
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Mound Metalcraft was founded shortly after World War II by three Minnesotans as a garden tool manufacturing company, but after buying a competitor in 1947, they turned their attention to making toys, changed the company name to Tonka, and began creating a legacy of realistic, durable, and fun trucks for kids. In 1955 Tonka debuted pick-ups; in 1962 a Jeep made its appearance; and in 1965 the Mighty Dump Truck became real and its most popular creation. In 1991 Hasbro bought Tonka and today, the Tonka toy offerings add up to 30. (Facts according to National Toy Hall of Fame).
What first started out as a window display item, quickly gave way to a very popular toy. According to the National Toy Hall of Fame, Joshua Lionel Cowen engineered the electric trains around 1900 under the name of the Lionel Manufacturing Company, and the toy was a must-have with kids for more than a century.
The Big Wheel began as a reinterpretation of the tricycle by Ray Lohr in the 1960s, according to the National Toy Hall of Fame, and kids were thrilled that it allowed them to do “high-speed skid-outs on slanted or uneven surfaces.”
Wanting an amped up version of the English Matchbox brand, cofounder of Mattel, Inc. Elliot Handler wanted his engineers to create die-cast car models of muscle cars such as Barracudas, Camaros, Corvettes, Cougars, Firebirds, and more, to grab the attention of kids, according to the National Toy Hall of Fame, and he succeeded; three billion hot wheel cars have been manufactured by Mattel.
News Source: National Toy Hall of Fame